Musical Fidelity Merlin 1:
The multi-format digital system designed with vinyl at heart.

Musical Fidelity Merlin 1: The multi-format digital system designed with vinyl at heart.

Source: Press Release, Last Accessed: 2015/02/26

Musical Fidelity has used over 35 years of audio experience to make playing vinyl just as easy and enjoyable as any other format by creating the Merlin 1 system - the first digital streaming system that has been designed from the ground up with the LP very much in mind.
Merlin 1 features the Merlin digital amplifier and Bluetooth apt-X streamer, the Round Table turntable and the unique Merlin 1 speakers for an all-in price of _1300.
According to the press release, the system's design is both beautiful and contemporary. The loudspeakers have a subtle elliptical shape with very fine finish in a choice of red, black or silver. The amplifier has a custom made extrusion, beautifully machined top form and elegant front panel while the turntable offers a simple, minimalist style in a high-gloss red or black finish. All of the system has been designed to Musical Fidelity's bespoke specifications and features the highest-grade components, many found in the company's more expensive audiophile products.
According to the press release, Merlin 1 features two 24bit, 192kHz DACS and twin high grade amplifier modules - running as completely separate monoblocks to minimize unwanted noise and distortion. Peak power into the Merlin loudspeakers is a comfortable 50 watts per channel, allowing the system to replay music with high resolution, fast dynamics and accurate transients, the company says. The integrated headphone amp is also of a very high quality - being based on Musical Fidelity's dedicated audiophile V90 HPA model.
The system offers a phono input, USB port (isochronous for updating the system or connecting to a PC), an analog line level input, one S/PDIF input and allows for wireless streaming through a Bluetooth aptX decoder. Merlin 1 system also includes an inbuilt analog to digital converter (ADC) and a specially configurable output - analog or digital, fixed or variable - which allows direct connection to a computer so that any of the Merlin's inputs can be ripped to the hard disk - including LPs. Alternatively, it allows for the addition of a subwoofer or the connection to active loudspeakers - either digital or analog.
Produced to Musical Fidelity's bespoke specification, the Round Table includes components that have been designed and placed to guarantee that the product is perfectly, statically balanced and that its center of gravity is at the pivot point of the main bearing. Round Table features a polished high carbon tool steel bearing, an extremely inert chassis and suspension system and a very high quality pick up arm, usually used on products several price categories higher than Round Table.
The Merlin Loudspeakers also include a new Musical Fidelity innovation named the _diffraction multiplier system_ that, according to the press release, allows the relatively compact speakers to offer a huge but accurate stereo soundstage. Rather than the normal flat front baffle, the Merlin 1 features a multi-stepped baffle which combines with a single wide-dispersion BMR driver in each speaker to offer near-field flat frequency response, low distortion and a real Hi-Fi sound quality. The impression is of a far larger system, with the sound seeming to be omnidirectional, giving a feeling of space and air whilst still giving a very wide but very focused image.
The Merlin 1 system is already available and consumers can choose to mix and match their system with the Merlin 1 Speaker in red, silver or black; the Round Table has a choice of red or black finish while the Merlin amplifier is available in black.

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